Gov­ern­ment ‘clos­ing in’ on ex­trem­ists’ po­si­tions

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Stories - By Richel V. Umel and Div­ina M. Su­son Cor­re­spon­dents

MARAWI CITY - Military and po­lice forces are ‘clos­ing in' on po­si­tions oc­cu­pied by IS-in­spired ex­trem­ists in Marawi City, an Army of­fi­cial said.

Army Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr., Deputy Com­man­der of the Joint Task Group Ranao, said Thurs­day morn­ing, October 12, that as of October 10, the num­ber of ex­trem­ists killed has in­creased to 811.

The gov­ern­ment has suf­fered 160 dead while civil­ian deaths num­ber 47.

In an October 11 in­ter­view, Brawner said 22 bod­ies were re­cov­ered by troops on October 9 and an­other five were re­cov­ered the fol­low­ing day, October 10.

Th­ese bod­ies were re­cov­ered from sev­eral build­ings and struc­tures in­side the main bat­tle area which the mil­i­tants were us­ing as their for­ward de­fen­sive po­si­tion.

“The five dead bod­ies were re­cov­ered yes­ter­day while the MDM sub­com­mit­tee is fin­ish­ing their re­trieval of the 22 oth­ers,” Brawner said.

Danilo Capin, owner of Capin Fu­neral Homes which stores the dead bod­ies while the re­mains are be­ing pro­cessed by the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) - Scene of the Crime Op­er­a­tives, said the SOCO's medico le­gal will ar­rive to­day, October 13, to start with the foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion aimed at de­ter­min­ing the iden­ti­ties of the ca­dav­ers.

The military is also in­ter­ested to know if high-pro­file ter­ror­ists and for­eign fight­ers are among the dead bod­ies.

“Didto na dad-on ang mga patay sa Maqbara, didto na i-pro­cess. Dili na dad-on sa atong morgue sa Ili­gan kay baho na­man gud kaayo. Mireklamo na akong mga silin­gan,” Capin said. He how­ever said the burial of the bod­ies will de­pend on the ad­vise they get from the Pro­vin­cial Cri­sis Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee of Lanao del Sur.

Among those killed re­cently is a ju­nior of­fi­cer in the Army's Spe­cial Forces, First Lieu­tenant Harold Mark Juan, who was killed by an en­emy sniper while lead­ing an as­sault on Mon­day, October 9.

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